Present (and the past)

This week I celebrated my birthday and I am so thankful to my family who gave me the best birthday present ever. A gift that put things in the right perspective, something that can be useful when you reach the age of 51.

Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals, Mitsinjo Madagascar, Jurassic era (150 million years old)

Ever since I was a child I was fascinated by the world of minerals and fossils. I remember winning a millions-year-old fossil in a biology quiz at school. It blew me away, the thought that this little gem was so incredibly old. In history class we talked about the Middle Ages, which seemed like light years away. But suddenly those few centuries were next to nothing compared to that rare object I just had won.

Petrified wood, West Madagascar, Triassic era (230 million years old)

After that, I wanted to become an archaeologist for many years. I thought as an archaeologist I would be able to find fossils all over the world. Little I knew back then about studies. Geology would have been a better choice, but I appeared to be an alpha. The study that I eventually chose was communications and the fossils disappeared to the background.

FeO(OH)·nH2O | Limonite, Morocco – Limonite is formed by the direct precipitation from salt or fresh water in shallow seas, lagoons or swamps. As regards to the use of limonite for pigments, it was one of the earliest man-used materials and can be seen in Neolithic cave paintings and pictographs.

My new and fresh birthday presents immediately casts me back to the past. Switching between my childhood in the seventies to 230 million years ago and via the Middle Ages back to the present. It puts the daily hassle into a satisfying kind of perspective. And also my age… In fact, I think it is safe to say that 51 years is really really really staggering, startling young.